You know that guy, the one who digs through the trash cans at work and walks all around the parking lot collecting the aluminum cans that someone else has thrown away? And maybe you’ve talked to him and found out that he only gets about a penny for each 10 cans he takes to the recycling center. Hardly worth the effort, is it?
Well, consider this:
- The same amount of energy that is needed to create one new aluminum can with new materials will create 20 aluminum cans from recycled materials. It takes far more energy and resources to make a new can.
- The energy saved by recycling just one aluminum can is enough to burn a 100-watt light bulb for up to four hours or to run your television for up to three hours.
So it’s not just about the money you get by collecting and recycling cans. The real savings is in the energy expenditures and the resources that are saved.
And you know what? You don’t have to go dumpster diving and walking around parking lots to make a difference. Just throwing the cans you use into the recycle bin at home or at work, rather than the regular trash can, will make a difference. If you don’t have recycle bins at home (what!?) or work, there are many non-profits that collect them to help raise money needed to provide their services.
For example, Habitat for Humanity has a program called Cans for Humanity. They use the money it raises to help them build affordable housing for low-income families. They have provided many locations all around the country where you can drop off your cans.
You CAN make a difference! Recycling even one can makes a difference.